Offense, bad punt snap hurt Beavers
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Running back Storm Barrs-Woods was a no show for Oregon State in the first half and so was the Beavers’ offense throughout the entirety of its 35-7 loss to Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines in Harbaugh’s home debut as UM head man.
Beavers coach Gary Andersen’s decision to sit Barrs-Woods in the first half and use him only for three carries added to the squad’s offensive woes in the second game of the Andersen era.
Andersen’s Beavers were limited to 138 total yards of offense by defensive tackle Chris Wormley as well as linebackers Royce Jenkins-Stone and Joe Bolden of the Michigan defense on a fall-like day at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
Quarterbacks Seth Collins and Marcus McMaryion combined for 79 yards through the air to go along with one touchdown pass while Barrs-Woods and fellow running backs Chris Brown and Deltron Sands combined for 59 yards on the ground.
However, suffering through the noted offensive deficiencies wasn’t the worst part of the day for Andersen and the Beavers.
Instead, it came in the form of a bad snap late in the second quarter to Oregon State punter Nick Porebski, which flew well over his head and forced Porebski and the Beavers to take a loss of 48 yards.
It set up a three-play, 3-yard scoring drive for the Wolverines, and the Beavers didn't recover from it.
“Well, I think any time you basically give them a layup, you know, down at the 2-yard line, it definitely changes momentum,” said Andersen.
The Beavers’ lack of spark offensively comes a week after they finished with 391 yards of total offense in a 26-7 beatdown of the Big Sky’s Weber State, which was limited by the Beavers’ defense to 178 total yards.
At least some of the Beavers’ struggles offensively have to be credited to the Wolverines’ strong defense, said wide receiver Jordan Villamin.
“Michigan played great defense, and they were in the right spots,” he said. “And I just felt we didn’t execute.”
He added, “We just didn’t make plays when we needed to. That’s pretty much what it comes down to.”
BARRS-WOODS BARRED: Barrs-Woods, who is on pace to become the second player in Oregon State history to achieve 2,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving, did not see the field in the first half. “Storm just wasn’t ready,” said Andersen.
When asked if it was because of a physical issue, Andersen was even more short, telling reporters that “we don’t talk about that stuff.”
Obviously perturbed by the question, Andersen added, “He’ll be ready to go when Storm feels he’s ready to play.”
It’s an interesting situation to monitor as Oregon State heads into a home game against San Jose State.
TWO-QUARTERBACK SYSTEM: Andersen stuck to his guns and used two quarterbacks, subbing out Collins in the third quarter for Marcus McMaryion, who failed to complete a pass on three attempts.
“I was planning to play both quarterbacks,” said Andersen. “We felt like it was important to give both quarterbacks an option. It was the plan all week, and when the opportunity presented itself, we thought it was a good time to do it.”
On the decision, Collins said, “It doesn’t matter what I think. That’s coach’s decision.”
STREAK ENDS: Prior to facing Michigan, the Beavers had won three straight road openers, beating UCLA in 2012, Utah in 2013 and Hawaii in 2014.
THIRD-DOWN CONVERSIONS: After holding Weber State to 0-for-13 on third-down conversions in the opener, Oregon State allowed Michigan to convert on six of its 13 attempts.
ODDS AND ENDS: Oregon State dropped to 0-5 all-time against Michigan … Andersen is now 1-2 all-time in the second game of his head coaching stops. While at Utah State, he lost to Texas A&M in Game 2 of his first year. In his first season at Wisconsin, however, he beat Tennessee Tech in Game 2 … Former Beavers head coach and current Nebraska head man Mike Riley lost his second game during each of his stints in Corvallis. Riley lost to then-No. 21 Stanford in 1997 and to unranked Fresno State in 2003. Dennis Erickson, who coached Oregon State between Riley's stints, fared better in Game 2 of his tenure, defeating another unranked version of Fresno State.